Buhari, death rumour and scuttled protests
From Olalekan Adigun
On Sunday 5th February, I suffered two major disappointments. First, like most patriotic Nigerians, I supported and planned to participate in the protests organised by Nigeria’s music legend, Innocent “TuFace” Idibia on Monday 6th February, 2017. Nigerians have suffered so much and for too long. The government must, at least, hear our cries.
And since I was one of those who participated in the Occupy Nigeria protests against President Goodluck Jonathan in 2012, I felt the moral obligation to join other Nigerians in protesting against the increase in cost of living among Nigerians. I was stunned to find out that the music icon has “chickened out” using the exact words of SaharaReporters.
TuFace has announced the cancellation of the protests citing some “vested interests not aligned with our own…” wanting to “hijack the protests.” He never mentioned anyone’s name neither did he leave too much to the imagination as to who the “vested interests” were!
Second, I was eagerly awaiting the news of the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari after his 10-day leave expired on Sunday 5th February, 2017. I was left disappointed after a friend and well-known PDP disinformation agent, called to tell me that the president will not be resuming on Monday after all. I took his view with the wave of the hand as the usual politics. I wasn’t ready for his style of politics that wish people dead simply because one has political disagreements with them.
Around 3 pm on Sunday, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, gave a big gift to my PDP friend who called and sent me a link of the “extension of the president’s vacation.” At that point, I could no longer assume David, my friend, was playing politics. He called me for up to 15 times that evening, but I did not return his calls.
That the “extension” gave the president the right to stay in London sine die is equally discomforting. Some say it could take as long as four months. While no sane Nigerian will wish the president dead at this time, it should not be difficult to the Presidency to come out clean on the state of the president’s heath. When he became president, Buhari has become Nigeria’s property. Nigerians deserve to know whatever is going on with his at every material time.
The “extension” of the president’s “vacation” or “medical (sick) leave” only further fuels suspicions and rumours of our worst fears. Few years ago, when something like this happened the ruling cabal exploited the power vacuum to loot and nearly brought confusion to the nation.
The Presidency is not about just Buhari. The fact that Buhari is presently medically unfit should not hold the nation to ransom. This should not mean Nigeria is sick. Certainly, it should not set the nation on fire. Government is a continuum; it needs not start or end with one person.
On the botched protest, I wish to say this. Building a nation requires courage, not cowardice. This is one lesson Nelson Mandela taught us all. I understand that some “vested interests” were more interested in the protests than TuFace himself. I am aware the “vested interests” are hell-bent on scoring political points with the protests and not participating based on genuine love for the poor and the down trodden. I am aware some of the “vested interests” provided heavy amounts of stolen money to fund the protests. All these notwithstanding, Tuface should have gone ahead and who knows, the revolution may just start from there!
Olalekan ADIGUN is a political analyst and independent political strategist for wide range of individuals, organisations and campaigns. He is based in Lagos, Nigeria. Email: email@example.com Follow me on Twitter @adgorwell